Friday, May 16, 2008

10 Things You Don't Know About Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra

It's Fun Friday -- time for some fun for the weekend. Enjoy today's post and I'll see you back here on Monday with more philatelic news and notes.

United States
Frank Sinatra

On March 13, 2008, the United States Postal Service issued a 42-cent stamp depicting world-renowned entertainer, Frank Sinatra. The stamp for "Ol' Blue Eyes" was issued one day prior to the tenth anniversary of his death. It features a wonderful depiction of a young Sinatra wearing a fedora and flashing those trademark blue eyes.

The stamp is certain to be popular, especially with non-collectors, and it might be a good thing to go ahead and purchase the stamp now.

Sinatra is probably best classified as entertainer extraordinaire. In addition to his mellow crooning voice, he acted in several well-received movies, including The Manchurian Candidate, From Here to Eternity, and The Man with the Golden Arm. He also acted in several TV shows including the critically acclaimed Our Town.

The legend of Sinatra is larger than life. Here are some lesser-known facts about the "Chairman of the Board" that you may not be aware:

  • At birth, baby Frank was thought to be stillborn until he was thrust under cold water and began to move about.

  • Forceps used during his birth caused permanent damage to his left earlobe, cheek and neck.

  • Early in his career, Sinatra was asked to change his stage name to Frankie Satin, an obvious play on words for his smooth, crooning voice. He refused.

  • During his short-lived marriage to actress Mia Farrow, Sinatra stunned Farrow when he served her with divorce papers in front of cast and crew of Rosemary's Baby.

  • In the early 1990s, when Mia Farrow was publicly humiliated by her long-term lover's, Woody Allen's, marriage to their adopted daughter, Sinatra offered to have Allen's legs broken, an obvious connection to Sinatra's Mafia relationships.

  • Sinatra's final and longest-lasting marriage was to Barbara Marx, the ex-wife of the comedy troupe The Marx Brothers member, Zeppo Marx.

  • The son of a Democratic-party ward boss, Sinatra was a fervent supporter of the Democrats, ostensibly until being snubbed by President John F. Kennedy, when Kennedy stayed at Bing Crosby's house, instead of staying at Sinatra's house. Within a few short years, Sinatra switched his alliance to the Republican party.

  • Sinatra refused to play in Las Vegas, Nevada, hotels and casinos where African-Americans could not entertain nor patronize. He was such a money-maker for the entertainment industry and had such clout that his efforts spurred increased racial desegregation in the state.

  • When his only son, Frank, Jr., was kidnapped and the kidnappers demanded that Frank, Sr., call from untraceable pay telephones, he began a life-long habit of carrying a roll of dimes (the cost of a pay-phone call at that time) in his pocket. He is reputed to have been buried with a small roll of dimes.

  • The song title "The Best is Yet to Come" is engraved on his tombstone. Ironically it was also the last song he sang in public, at the age to 79.

And, as a bonus, a bit of trivia only tangentially related to Sinatra:

  • Sinatra was a member of the Rat Pack, a group of famous entertainers including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Unknown by many, is that Norman Fell, who portrayed the penny-pinching, wisecracking, goof-ball, landlord Stanley Roper on the late 1970's sitcom Three's Company was also included in the Rat Pack for a period of time.

Previous Fun Friday Posts

1 comment:

Dave said...

...he did it his way.

Great post.